May 4th, 2012
05:01 PM ET

Bible reading marathon wraps up in Washington

By David Ruff, CNN

Washington (CNN)–
For nearly 90 continuous hours, rain or shine, believers read the Bible from beginning to end on the steps of the nation's Capitol.

The Bible marathon began with a reading of Genesis 1:1 at 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 27. For 23 years, a small nonprofit group called the International Bible Reading Association has one purpose: "To encourage reading the Bible, both publicly and privately," says the Washington organizer Michael Hall, senior pastor of People's Church in Washington.

Volunteers take turns reading through the text 24 hours a day for five days. The group relies on the security of the Capital Hill Police, who are stationed all around the Capitol. Hall says the readers have never had any problems or threats from onlookers or other groups.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Because of permit restrictions, the readers can't use heaters or any protective cover. When rain threatens, the group covers the bibles with plastic sheets and the volunteer readers wear rain jackets.

"It's a wonderful celebration of our First Amendment rights. We have people coming from all around the world and they're stunned that we can do this. We’re one of the few countries in the world who has a Bill of Rights," Hall says.

Hall says this is a nonpolitical event that draws people from all walks of life who have one thing in common. "We’re not a small group, Christians. We’re all around the world. We’re in every country."

Bible readers include children being home schooled, church groups, individuals and even legislators. With Congress out of session, the only lawmaker to participate was Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Alabama, who read on Tuesday morning. Hall says in years past, around 24 lawmakers usually read.

Some read the Bible in their native language, as was the case with readers from the Korean Baptist Church in Washington.

The Scriptures are read on a Bible-shaped podium. The organizers set up a table and display 100 Bibles in different languages. “What we’re doing is a great witness for this country and a great witness for God.”

The last verse of the Bible, Revelation 22:22 was read in a small ceremony at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, May 1 at 2 p.m.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible

soundoff (438 Responses)
  1. martog

    Top Ten Signs You're a Christian
    10 – You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.
    9 – You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.
    8 – You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.
    7 – Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees!
    6 – You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.
    5 – You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.
    4 – You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs – though excluding those in all rival sects – will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."
    3 – While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christianity.
    2 – You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.
    1 – You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history – but still call yourself a Christian

    May 5, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Top sign you are an atheist

      – You have a functioning brain.

      May 5, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Tune in martog, science is proving Jesus' Truth. You just don't have eyes to see nor ears to hear.

      May 5, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Top sign you're an atheist:

      You're burning in hell

      May 5, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      HeavenScent, please provide a reference to your claim that science is proving the jesus myth is true. I think you are lying.

      May 5, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I like having buttse x with my neighbors pekinese.

      May 8, 2012 at 11:11 am |
  2. God's Oldest Dreamer

    Literally fragranced are thoughts of expounding contrivances concerns and regards! Literalizations in hastefullness are at times either well thought or seldomly bought! The carrying of and towards predjudisms parlors to "Frankenstinian" wants! The malignancies of predjudistic revelries runs the gammets ever dividing one's willingness to be alikened to and toward otherliness regards and concernments discipled! The spiritually fruitier the mentally loopier one gets and does become!

    May 5, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • johnfrichardson

      Street babbler. Lucky for Richard, the theocrats aren't in power. His kind tended to get burned at the stake.

      May 5, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      johnfrichardson,,,,,,,,,,,, ,

      My tenure is of individualimsic venues for I do not lean towards your constructive critiquing of amalgums' proper! For one such as you to blame label one in combinatorializing exchange rates does manifest your rather awkward fruitions!

      May 5, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • johnfrichardson

      I'm guessing you do not have a driver's license.

      May 5, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  3. Bo

    Mark, do you really believe that what you post on this forum is inspired by God? Do you really think that this is representative of Jesus? Do you think that Jesus would spew the hate that you post here? Personally Mark, to me you are an embarrassment to the Christian community.
    But, then, you may just be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Bouncing around all that hate when in fact you really do not follow the concepts of Jesus' teaching, but you are a “Trojan”, pretending to be something you really are not. On this forum you would be called a “troll” by posting stuff just to keep up the ire of the rest of the atheists.

    As for the atheists, just ignore what this (fill in the blank for your self ) has to say. Whether he is a supposed Christian, or a troll atheist, he is a jerk.

    May 5, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • earl

      In Deuteronomy 18:18-19, God said that He will send a prophet like Moses. The prophet’s task is to speak the words God has put in his mouth and to reveal His true Name. God commanded us to listen to this prophet only. This prophet is Mr. Eraño Evangelista. Read the messages that God revealed to him in the Bible for our generation in this site : thename.ph
      Know if Jesus did really accomplish his mission from God and the Real Name of God
      Thank you.

      May 5, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • Bo

      @ Earl, what does what you said have to do with Mark's posts?

      May 5, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Root post by Bo contains instances of the No True Scotsmen fallacy and thead hominem fallacy.


      May 5, 2012 at 10:20 am |
  4. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    May 5, 2012 at 9:10 am |
  5. Loose Dollars

    Anyone ever pay attention to the chemtrails from commercial airplanes? Ever ask yourself why there are so many sheeple voting for crooked politicians? DO YOUR RESEARCH PEOPLE. YOU ARE BEING DUPED WITH CHEMICALS. Those trails you see all over the sky from airplanes are chemicals that are being sprayed for MIND CONTROL and to turn people into SHEEPLE. This is how the history books have been REWRITTEN with little to no notice. You are being CHEMICALLY DRUGGED to not notice! You are being COHEARSED by these chemtrails to believe in GOD and the MAYAN CALENDAR. Only a small group of people are not ALTERED chemically by these sprays and that is why there are only a handful of non-believers. The CATHOLIC VATICAN has been in bed with the world government in the OLD WORLD for NEW REFORM. You are being groomed!

    May 5, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      The "Trails" are yes chemicals yet so are the fumes from autos and we don't hear much about these pollutants do we?

      May 5, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • AGuest9

      Your meds need adjusting.

      May 5, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • johnfrichardson

      Contrails are the same color as clouds and, like clouds, are mostly water vapor:

      Don't let facts spoil a good conspiracy theory.

      May 5, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  6. Mark from Middle River

    I see the idiot atheists are still pushing their libtard agendas!

    May 5, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • johnfrichardson

      Fixated adolescents stealing handles again?

      May 5, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I have a functioning brain, do you have any idea what that feels like?

      May 5, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • sam stone

      wow marky-mark....you sure are a bright one, aren't you?

      May 5, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
  7. The Phist


    May 5, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • The Phist

      This one goes out to all you christians out there.

      May 5, 2012 at 8:03 am |
  8. Reality

    Putting the bible in 21st century perspective:

    1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

    “New Torah For Modern Minds

    Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “

    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

    2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

    The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.


    For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

    May 5, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • .....

      Total crap hit report abuse on all reality posts

      May 5, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Report abuse on the guy who always tells Reality to report abuse.

      May 5, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      That should be report abuse on the guy who always says we should report abuse on Reality.

      May 5, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Reality, I hope you read Matthew 23:29-39 some day soon.

      May 5, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  9. The Phist


    May 5, 2012 at 7:48 am |
  10. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    May 5, 2012 at 7:00 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      Fact: Prayer makes your poop green.

      May 5, 2012 at 7:48 am |
    • The Phist

      Grape soda turns it green too. Strangest thing ever.

      May 5, 2012 at 7:50 am |
    • common sense needed

      How can people tell when the excrement ends and you two begin?

      May 5, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • The Phist

      I don't know. How does it feel to be at the end of the chain in a human centipede?

      May 5, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • common sense needed

      You tell us.

      May 5, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • The Phist

      You're the one that enjoys eating shit. YOU tell us, moron.

      May 5, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
  11. dantheman

    I have on occasion been known to frequent men's bath houses in search of a sweating, naked John Travolta.

    May 5, 2012 at 6:42 am |


    May 5, 2012 at 6:25 am |
    • nope


      May 5, 2012 at 6:59 am |
    • Reality

      "The allegation is sometimes made that Hitler was a Catholic – a Christian until the day he died. This claim is based upon the fact that Hitler was born and raised in a Catholic family.

      However, as an adult, Hitler specifically rejected the Catholic Church, as well as Christianity in general. He described himself as "a complete pagan".

      The book Hitler's Secret Conversations: 1941-1944, published by Farrar, Straus and Young, Inc. (1953), contains definitive proof of Hitler's real views. The book was published in Britain under the t-itle, Hitler's Table Talk: 1941-1944, which ti-tle was used for the Oxford University Press paperback edition in the United States.

      Some excerpts:

      All of these are quotes from Adolf Hitler:

      Night of 11th-12th July, 1941:

      "National Socialism and religion cannot exist together.... The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity's illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity.... Let it not be said that Christianity brought man the life of the soul, for that evolution was in the natural order of things. (p 6 & 7) "

      10th October, 1941, midday:

      "Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure. (p 43)"

      Rank …..Death Toll ..Cause …..Centuries……..(Religions/Groups involved)*

      1. 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists/atheists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

      May 5, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • AGuest9

      Hitler was as much a catholic as Einstein was a jew.

      May 5, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • martog

      Actually, Hilter was Lutheran. Not sure how that opens or closes anything....

      May 5, 2012 at 10:38 am |


    May 5, 2012 at 5:31 am |
    • b4bigbang

      You are a looser! Are you a book of the devil reader and fan?!

      May 5, 2012 at 6:21 am |
    • The Taught Police

      b4bigbang, you could become a loser if you get too loose with your words. Whose who's are you hewing into hues? There are two tu's to your tutu too. It's time for its correct usage.

      May 5, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      What's loose about him?

      May 5, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  14. Carl

    Recently it's been found that the vatican has been working with the mormon church and secretly giving people AIDS for the past two decades in multiple countries across the world.

    May 5, 2012 at 4:45 am |
    • AGuest9

      Have your ticket for the FEMA Death Train? How about your Mylar rain poncho so the chemtrails don't get you? Don't forget your tin foil hat to "block the radio waves"!

      May 5, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • Rational Libertarian


      Could you please provide references for your claims?

      May 5, 2012 at 10:26 am |
  15. Humanist11

    I cannot think of an activity that wasts more time than reading the bible.

    May 5, 2012 at 3:31 am |
    • Bootyfunk


      May 5, 2012 at 7:46 am |
    • AGuest9


      May 5, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • common sense needed

      You drawing breath comes to mind.

      May 5, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • derp

      Commenting on this message board?

      May 8, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  16. b4bigbang

    Science is STUPID. Scientists have no idea what the hell it is they're talking about. Carbon dating has been proven WRONG. Evolution has never been proven, period. The Bible is THE truth and this is FACT. If you are an atheist, you deserve to burn in hell for all of eternity. Science is a religion, but it's a false one. Jesus is the only way. I hope and pray that all atheists burn in hell.

    May 5, 2012 at 1:13 am |
    • b4bigbang

      He must really love me a lot!
      Sorry fake b4 – i'm married.

      May 5, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      you could very well be the most ignorant man on earth.

      May 5, 2012 at 1:27 am |
    • Just Shamwow

      Unbelievable b4bigbang. In this day and age it's sickening that someone would hold onto these antiquated beliefs. I suppose you believe that prayer works and medicine is of the devil as well. Get a grip on reality.

      May 5, 2012 at 1:35 am |
    • Humanist11

      I find Christian fundamentalists like yourself to be very intolerant and mean. Just because someone does not have the same beliefs, you sentence them to purgatory. Your mind is closed and you must be very miserable. I hope you come out of it someday. I really do.

      May 5, 2012 at 3:38 am |
    • Joxer the Mighty

      @Bootyfunk, Shamwow, and Humanist11 Can you not see the sarcasm that is dripping from his statement?

      May 5, 2012 at 5:55 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      sarcasm sometimes sounds exactly like christian fundies, hehe.

      May 5, 2012 at 7:47 am |
    • The Phist

      Basing my opinion solely on this moron's other comments around the blogs, I believe it's safe to say he isn't being sarcastic.

      May 5, 2012 at 7:55 am |


    May 5, 2012 at 12:48 am |
  18. b4bigbang

    Hey everybody, this scientific survey says that the younger top scientists are more likely to attend religious services than the older ones, and the researcher thinks it could be a trend ind icating a future increase in religious top scientists!


    Right there – last paragraph.

    May 5, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hey, everybody, beabigstinkyfart found a survey on the web that supports his prejudices. Let's throw a party!!!!

      May 5, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • Al


      Of course it shows that there are more young religious scientist. As they age, they will lose their religion. One question to ask those young scientists is how many of them are remaining religious to keep from rocking the boat with family members. A very large chunk of the Christian population fit in that category.

      May 5, 2012 at 2:23 am |
    • b4bigbang

      Al, you better pray you are right. Oh, that's right, no prayer from you guys.
      Well if you're wrong, then get ready to work along side some of those God-believers.

      PS: I know a lot of Christians and dont know of any who merely pretend to be believers.

      The bottom line is that this scientific survey tends to refute the atheists' claims in this area, while actually supporting believers.

      Gotta go for now – good night everybody!

      May 5, 2012 at 4:33 am |
    • Cold Hard TRUTH

      b4bigbang, I posted this response to you before:

      So, you're posting a 5 year old article about a study that states that people who are already religious are afraid to abandon their beliefs that were pounded into their skulls at an early age.


      "They concluded that academics in the natural and social sciences at elite research universities are significantly less religious than the general population. Almost 52 percent of scientists surveyed identified themselves as having no current religious affiliation compared with only 14 percent of the general population."

      "Ecklund says, 'It appears that those from non-religious backgrounds disproportionately self-select into scientific professions. This may reflect the fact that there is tension between the religious tenets of some groups and the theories and methods of particular sciences and it contributes to the large number of non-religious scientists."

      Try again.

      Here's an interesting article:


      "Highly religious people are less motivated by compassion than are non-believers"

      Here's more frmo what I posted on the other page:

      From: http://phys.org/help/about-us/

      Take a look at this winner:

      • Lisa Zyga – contributing author
      Lisa graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Arts degree in rhetoric in 2004.

      So glad you posted an article from such an esteemed website with highly educated authors that have no life experience.

      From what I can tell, you're not very bright. Get a clue b4bigbang.

      May 5, 2012 at 4:37 am |
    • Cold Hard TRUTH


      May 5, 2012 at 4:38 am |
    • johnfrichardson

      Having grown up in a family that attended a United Methodist Church in the Northeast, I was surprised to find out in my teens that there were actually people under 60 who took any of this stuff seriously. For the people I was raised around, it was obvious that church was merely where you went to demonstrate your white suburbanite conformist credentials. Another article on CNN a few month back discussed educated churchgoers and pointed out that they didn't believe god wrote the bible and doubted its literal truth to varying degrees.

      May 5, 2012 at 6:54 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Revelation 21:7-8


      May 5, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  19. Bootyfunk

    "We’re not a small group, Christians. We’re all around the world. We’re in every country."

    christians are not a small group.
    christians that have actually read the bible are a very small group.

    May 5, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Christians that can actually read is a fairly tiny group also.

      May 5, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  20. Colin

    So, they start with a talking snake and end with the crazy rantings of an Iron Age apocalyptic prophet. Waste of time.

    May 4, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      there's also a talking donkey in the bible - just like in the movie Shrek!!!

      May 5, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      There's a talking donkey right here-his name is Jim. Check out his posts. He's a moron.

      May 5, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Revelation 20:12-15


      May 5, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.